Category Archives: Get Serious!

5K training has started!

Peeps!

5K training has begun.

Yesterday, I promised that I would share the training program I’m following today…and that I would also share how those of you who aren’t in the DFW area can also participate.  I can deliver on 75% of that.  Lemme ‘splain…

First, I’m following Hal Higdon’s 5K for Walkers program.  You may ask why I’m not following Couch to 5K and it’s simply psychology on my part. See, Couch to 5K is ultimately designed to get you running. I look forward to that someday, but I’m over 300 pounds and my feet hate me. I won’t be running for a while.

Understand, I’m not being a slacker…even when I weighed 125 pounds I was a regular in the podiatrist’s office. My feet really do hate me. I was always bandaged up or going for physical therapy. Two foot surgeries and multiple stress fractures later, I’ve learned to be realistic about what I can put my feet through at this weight – because if there’s one thing that sucks, it’s getting yourself all motivated and ending up in a stress fracture boot for 8 weeks.  That shit ain’t fun.

So the psychology of it all? If I was a grown-up, I could read Couch to 5K and just substitute the word “run” for “walk”…but that’s not what happens in my head.  What happens in my head is something like this:

Everyone else is running and you’re walking. You can’t run because you’re too fat. What if you never beat this? You never should have let yourself get this big. Who does this? You’re ridiculous. You’ll never run. You’re a failure.

Welcome to my evil twin, ladies and gentlemen…that’s what will be going on in my head if I do the grown-up thing and try to just overlook the word run. I don’t give myself any credit for trying. I’m horrible to myself. So to keep that from happening, I do what I have to in order to avoid those destructive voices in my head…and I keep pushing forward.

I’ll do whatever it takes to keep that crap silent. Determination is what’s most important to me.

 

I’ll be posting my daily walking goal on my Facebook fan page every day, so if you want to follow along please do! I’ll also be blogging quite a bit about it here…you know I won’t shut up about it.

So for those of you who don’t live in the DFW area and can’t walk the Buffalo Boogie with us, don’t fret…you can train with us! And that’s not all…there is actually one more announcement I have to make this week, but I’m not ready to do it tonight – so stay tuned.

I’ll hurry it up as fast as I can. I should have it out by Wednesday night.

For now, you’ve got the link to the training program I’m using…and I’ll be back soon with the re-birth of a pretty damn cool project I launched a while back. You’re gonna love it!

Did you start training today?

The Path

Sometimes I forget to be grateful for what I have. There are days when it feels like I’m in constant battle against “the grass is always greener syndrome”. Someone’s always luckier than me, prettier than me, has more money than me. Thinner than me.  Hell, that’s most of the world.

I’m ashamed of how often I forget to be grateful. I’m luckier than so many others.

Remember back in the day when Oprah had her “Ah-hah!” moment and finally lost all her weight?  I remember sitting in a restaurant with one of my girlfriends talk’in shit about poor Oprah. While we chomped on what was easily a day’s worth of calories, we lamented about how easy it would be lose our weight if we had Oprah’s enormous wealth.

“Yeah, if I could afford to hire someone to follow me around all day I’d hit my goal weight too,” my friend said. “She has a personal chef, a personal trainer, a personal assistant…she doesn’t have to do shit for herself.”

Our solution to the problem?  Order dessert…because we poor girls, who had to work for a living and struggled so unfairly to lose weight, deserved it.  We weren’t really struggling though.  Well, I can only speak for me.  I started all my diets on Monday back then, after a “last night on earth” eating binge on Sunday night.  By Thursday night I was usually so starved and bored that I was calling for pizza delivery.  For years, I did the same thing over and over again, failing every time and then whined to myself about it over a pint of mint chip while I watched The Biggest Loser.

It wasn’t until just over a year ago, when I was on the verge of lap band surgery, that I realized the bulk of my struggle was a bunch of bullshit that I was feeding myself.  Well, the diet industry was feeding it to me as well – but I was the one swallowing it.  Just weeks before my planned lap band surgery, I decided to experiment with a sort of imaginary lap band…and I found something unexpected:  gratitude.

My imaginary lap band experiment opened my eyes. I didn’t miss all the processed crap I had been eating when I went without it.  Instead, I missed the healthy foods that I enjoy cooking for myself.  It surprised me quite a bit…and was the catalyst that caused me to cancel my surgery and do this on my own.

Here we are again, just over a year later, with my food demons in check…and now I’m going after exercise.  Just a few weeks into the process of making exercise a consistent habit, I’m putting an enormous amount of thought into every aspect of it. Why do I hate it?  What do I hate about it?  How can I change that?  What roadblocks are in my way?  How do I get rid of them?  This may seem like a lot of over thinking to some of you, but this is exactly what I did with health eating last year and it worked like a charm.  Examine every rock, every stone, every pebble.

This year it’s not my healthy, delicious recipes I’m grateful for.  Well, I’m still grateful for all that.  With my focus on exercise this year, my relentless over thinking is making me grateful for the fact that I already have everything I need in order to move more.  I hate gyms – but I’m grateful for the treadmill in my bedroom that makes gym memberships unnecessary.  I’ve always had foot problems that can create issues for me, even when I was thin…but I have strong legs and no serious handicaps that keep me from exercising consistently.

And then there’s the path…

The path to victory
The path to victory

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the entrance to a 6.10 mile long bike/walking trail in my neighborhood. I only have to walk two neighborhood streets behind my house to get here. The trail connects to other parks with other walking trails as well, providing just over 20 miles of room for me to stretch my legs.  If I turn right, I’ll hit the dog park and a few other parks and trails.  The bulk of the trail lies to my left.  I have no idea what’s down there…but I plan to find out.

This post is the beginning of a series of blog posts I’ll be making as I discover what waits for me on the path ahead…on this trail and in my head as I try to fight some pretty serious mental demons about exercise.  Four weeks into my new challenge of making exercise a consistent habit and I’m still resisting myself at every turn.

That’s fine.  If that’s how my subconscious wants to play it, I can’t control it – but I can control what I do about it.  So I will use the legs that I’m so grateful for to propel me down the path ahead whether my subconscious likes it or not…just like I made myself stand in the kitchen last year and actually cook instead of hitting the drive-thru.  At first it was hard, but I avoided fad diets and absolute thinking.  Gentle persistence turned into willingness…which turned into habit…and before I knew it my whole way of thinking about food was changed for good.

As I write this and I think about the fact that I’m going to go down this path whether I want to or not, I’m afraid.  I know it isn’t real fear.  There’s nothing to be afraid of down this path.  (Well, at least not until spring when the bugs come back.) But, as I’ll explain in more detail later, there are mental demons at the heart of this that I haven’t confronted in over 20 years.  When I think about the crap I’m going to have to claw through this year in order to change my life, last year seems like a total breeze.

It doesn’t matter in the end.  It has to be done…because I want it done.  I may not be particularly courageous, but I am stubborn.

And so down the path I go…

Ready or not, here I come...
Ready or not, here I come…

 

 

The Plan that Can

Today, I begin preparation for my attack on the holiday season. Join me, won’t you?

I love the holidays. I love autumn, especially…when summer shrivels up and crawls back to hell (I live in Texas…trust me, hell ain’t that far off in the summer) and the leaves begin to change and everything gets crisp and chilly.  Perhaps you think this is rather ho-hum where you live…but I am a born and raised southern California girl – so I might appreciate the change of seasons a little more than most…because seasons don’t change in southern California.

I remember in school we would start decorating with orange, yellow, and red paper…we would make leaves and decorate the classroom.  We would carve pumpkins and talk about seasons changing.  I love this time of year.

Fall 1971. Saving babies with my American flag and my awesome macaroni necklace. A little Hot Mess Bad Ass in the making.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see, I get a little carried away sometimes.  Check out my Indian head dress and paper bag squaw garb.  I think this was the day we made cornbread in the school cafeteria just like our forefathers did.  I was totally pumped…which is probably where I got the yankee doodle baby saving grin from.

Once when my Mom was driving me to dance class I saw an orange leaf on a tree and I got so excited.  Finally, I thought to myself, finally the leaves are changing and we’re going to have a real autumn…and maybe even a real winter!

Yeah, that shit never happened.

Now that I live in a place where we actually do have seasons, I get completely immersed in the festive atmosphere.  No, I don’t go around kneeling with an American flag and a baby anymore.  After 40, that shit’s just creepy. My enthusiasm for the holidays does add an extra level of danger to a season that’s already fraught with temptation, though.  Like I said yesterday, Halloween is my own personal gateway drug…and I’m not gonna let it grab me this year.

I’ve spent the past week or so giving some serious thought to what really sets me back this time of year.  What are the potential pitfalls I’m going to come up against and how can I avoid them?  What do I really love about the holidays?  What will I be sorry I missed if I don’t indulge in it?

That’s how I came up with my Plan that Can…and here are the basics:

  1.   Get through Halloween without anything scary popping up on the scale
  2.   Enjoy Thanksgiving fully, guilt free, and with my self-respect intact
  3.   Have a Hap-Hap-Happy Christmas & a Lighter New Year

Of course I’m going to share the juicy details of each of the parts I just listed…otherwise, this is just lame, right?  Baby steps, folks.  I’ve learned that I can’t fully be one with my kick-assery skills if I go too fast.  This is going to be a multi-post blog series.  For now, I plan to tackle Halloween.

Here are the details of my Halloween attack plan:

  •  No chocolate of any kind in this house.  And no Twizzlers.  And no Swedish Fish. Or Sugar Babies.  Basically, only cheap CRAP candy is allowed:  suckers, Dum Dums, those straw things with flavored sugar that I liked when I was 9 years old.  Those cheap, disgusting gummy body parts are ok for some reason.  They don’t ring my bell.  I don’t know why Swedish Fish are yummy and gummy eyeballs are gross, but I don’t set the rules…my food demons do.  I just work within the rules to get what I want.  If it looks like a severed toe, it’s not at all tempting…I don’t give a shit why.
  • Five second rule.  Doesn’t matter if I’m at work, at home, out with friends…I’m enacting the 5 second rule.  If I’m around something tempting, I have to do something about it in 5 seconds.  A co-worker gives me a little festive baggie of candy, I’m dumping it in 5 seconds.  In line at a potluck and I see a gorgeous cheesecake while I’m dishing up from the fruit bowl…5 seconds…MOVE!  Back away from the cheesecake, Princess.  The purpose of the 5 seconds is to not give myself the time to bargain or give in.  5 seconds.  I’ll either toss it in the kitchen/break room at work…give it to someone else…run away from it or throw it in the trash can.  Whatever it is, I’m thinking of me first…and all my hard work.
  • Indulge without Bulge.  There are things I love about Halloween that I don’t want to do without.  Roasted pumpkin seeds aren’t really a big no-no, but if you roast them in olive oil like I do…well…you still have to count it.  I’m still going to have my pumpkin seeds – and I’m not going to limit how many I have.  I’m going to eat as many as I want, but I’m also going to counter attack them by adding an extra workout and eating lighter meals the rest of that day.  Repeat after me:  adjust…so you don’t bust.  And (just because I know how completely full of shit I can be when it comes to excuses) I’ve already set the rule that I have to do that workout before I indulge in those roasted seeds or any other treat I decide to indulge in.
  • Fun.  I will replace food with fun.  We have no kids of our own, but we have a neighborhood full of the coolest kids around.  So I’m going to spook up the house with fog machines and lights and all my usual tricks…and I’m going to sit outside and watch trick or treaters.  Think back to when you were a kid and you were trick or treating…there was always that one house on the block that was so much fun, right?  Yeah, that’s my house.  This year, I’m having fun with the neighbors instead of mowing through mini snickers on the couch.

With this four-pronged attack and my usual eating/logging – and added workouts…well, Halloween oughta get a run for her money.  Last year all I did was buy $50 worth of crap and eat it all night.  Then I felt sick after.  This year will be different.  This year will be better.

In fact, I’m gonna level with y’all…I’ve been thinking some crazy thoughts lately.  Crazy in an awesome way.  I don’t just want to get through the holidays without gaining weight.  Nope.  I want to kick it up about a notch and a half.  Later this week, I’ll tell you how.

Today is October 16th.  There are 16 days left until Halloween, all of which will be heavily blogged about, peeps.

If you want to follow along, be sure you’re subscribed to my blog via email…because I’m going to be posting quite a few times a week.  If you watch for my posts on Facebook, you may not always see them.  That’s just the way Facebook works with fan pages.  So look up at the top of my home page on the right and find the SUBSCRIBE section…and subscribe via email!

If you want to create a similar plan for yourself, it’s time to start thinking about your own temptations and what really screws you up.  Then find a way around them:

Avoid the things you know you can’t control.

Have a plan of attack for the times those things surprise you.

If you plan to indulge, plan to work it off…and don’t let yourself down!

Find a way to enjoy the things you really love about the holidays…and make sure you won’t come away feeling deprived. Adjust so you don’t bust.

This is about being real…this about finding positive, fun ways to bring healthy changes to my life.  Because I know I can do it, because I want to prove it can be done.

Y’all know what I say:  No rest for a fat girl with a plan.  Bring it.

Evil is Coming…and it’s “fun sized”

Can you feel it?  It’s coming.  Can you sense it?  It’s out there…ready to pounce on all our well-intentioned plans?  I can feel it.

Halloween is coming.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Halloween. As a kid, I loved dressing up as my favorite hero or scary creature.  And while, on this particular day, it’s perfectly acceptable for a grown woman to go traipsing around town in tights and a cape…I refrain.  Generally speaking, super heroes tend to have a lot less kneecap fat than I do.

I celebrate in other ways.  Mainly by turning my house into the most badass display of Halloween fun in my neighborhood.  I rock Halloween so much that I actually get “repeater trick or treaters”.  My house is the best one on the block for Halloween.  That’s how I roll.

So yeah…Halloween is a lot of fun, but you know what?

It’s also a big fucking problem. 

Do you know where I’m going with this?  Let me paint a picture for ya:

They call marijuana “the gateway” drug. Why?  Because young unsuspecting potheads often go looking for a better, stronger high…and they end up addicted to a world o’ shit.  For those of us who’ve had a few self-control issues when it comes to things like…oh, I dunno…chocolate…nougat…cream filling…Twizzlers…you name it, this is dangerous ground we’re about to be walking on.  Halloween is the gateway to a season full of holiday eating madness.  MAAAADNESS, I tell you!!  Bag after bag of temptation in the form of “fun size” bars in cute little packaging that cries out “Eat me!! Just one won’t hurt!  Look how cute I am!”

We need a plan.  With a quickness.  If we don’t come up with something soon we’re gonna be mowing our way through $50 of fun sized evil before we even know what hit us.  Screw that!

Luckily, I have a plan.  If you’re still ooh-ing and aah-ing at the tantalizing candy displays, snap out of it!  This is serious shit.  I know I’m usually all about the “You don’t have to be perfect…just do what you can do…c’mere and give me a hug!” but there’s no time for that.  (And, for the record, you don’t ever have to be perfect…but I don’t want to see any of us fall on our asses because we didn’t have a plan.)  If you don’t have a plan, you can borrow mine…but first you have to snap out of it!!!  Eyes off the Reese’s Peanut Butter Pumpkins, soldier!!  FOCUS!

I don’t just want this year to be different than last year.  I want this year to be better than last year.

Last year, I went shopping for Halloween candy and (just like every year before) I bought all the crap that I love to eat.  I know I’m not the only person who’s done that, right?  If we’re going to spend that much money on free crap for the neighbor kids we might as well enjoy it too, right?  Besides, it’s only one night, right?  Yep.  Well, I mowed through quite a bit of it that night…and it set me directly on a sugary road to hell, my friends.  Just like it’s done every year before that.  Are ya feel’in me?

This year will be different.  No more one night stands with the candy bowl…waking up in a sugar coma…empty wrappers on the dresser making me feel cheap and easy.  I’m not up for a repeat of last year when my sugar coma sent me straight into Thanksgiving with a lust for baked goods.  Before I knew what hit me, Thanksgiving had flown by and I was standing in my kitchen in December…bent over a tin full of butter toffee…crying…because I felt so sick from all the sugar and yet I could not make myself stop eating.

Listen up, peeps…and picture me doing my best Dr. Evil  impression:  Halloween candy is evil.  EEEEVIIIILLLLL!!!!!

After almost a full year of making positive, healthy life changes I’ve lost 45 pounds.  And I’ve managed it without listening to the diet & fitness industry mainstream that makes millions off of those of us who struggle with overeating and weight issues.  The past year has been pretty damn enlightening for me.  And here it comes again: Hallo-frick’in-ween… my own personal gateway drug.

This year, I’ve come up with a plan for getting through the holidays…and it starts this month.  The time for preparation is now.  There’s nothing fun sized about an extra ass in your pants by Christmas.  We’re talking plan & strategy this week here on the blog.  By the time we get to Halloween, we will laugh in the face of danger.

This year, we will control our shit before it controls us.  So get ready. Here’s your homework:

Make a list of what tempts you this month. Halloween candy?  Menu preparations for Thanksgiving? What situations do you find yourself in that always cause you trouble? What are the triggers that are set to launch you into the holidays?  Write ‘em down because you’re going to need them for planning this week.

Let’s band together and show the holidays we’re in it for the fun and the family and the joy…but not the extra weight.  Because we’re too smart to go down this road again…and New Years Resolutions suck ass!

Tomorrow, we plan!!

The Six Month Wall

I had a realization this week and I’ve been trying to write about it for a while…but it’s been hard to put into words (even for me).  Here it goes…

I’m floundering a bit right now.  My food is in check, but I still struggle with exercise.  Why?  Honestly??  Because I don’t want to. I’m not motivated. I think about it all the time, but I can’t make myself do it.  I’m stuck.

I realized the other day that my drive started fizzling around the 6 month mark.  Originally, I blamed stress from the big re-org at work.  Not knowing if I was going to keep my job and being forced to deal with that stress without binge eating was extremely difficult.  Well, the re-org has come and gone (at least the part that directly concerned me)…and I’m still floundering.  I’m at the 8 month mark now…and I’m still not moving forward…but 6 months is where it started to fall apart.

6 months.  I’m starting to connect some dots…

I’ve shared this before in the “My Story” section, but my Dad was an alcoholic.  My Dad got sober twice in his life:  once when I was 12…and once when I was in my 20’s.  Both times, he was sober for 6 months before he started having trouble again.  In the end, he was never able to tame the demons that made him drink…and he passed at the young age of 67.

6 months was all he could muster.

Skip ahead a little bit.  In the 90’s, I had a doctor who misdiagnosed me with a medical condition I didn’t have.  She told me I would not be able to lose weight at a normal rate unless I made some serious changes.  She told me that I had to restrict myself to 750 calories a day.

Yep…you read that right:  750 calories a day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I joined a gym and started eating 750 calories a day.  I lost 75 pounds in just 4 months.  When I look back at that time in my life, I could just slap the crap out of that doctor.  What a quack.

I hit a wall.  My body started to rebel against my extreme diet.  I was up to an hour of aerobics a day.  I added treadmill time to that, but it didn’t do any good.  The scale would not move.  I couldn’t remove any calories from my diet because I was already eating so little.  So I continued to starve myself on my doctor’s advice…and kept trying to increase my exercise in order to lose weight.  Nothing was working.

After 2 more months of struggling, I gave up.  I started skipping the gym.  I started indulging in my old favorite foods.  That whole scenario was 6 months.

Two years ago, I began a healthy eating/fitness challenge with a buddy.  We decided to commit to 6 months because we had a wedding to attend.  Although I was successful at losing 50 pounds during those 6 months, I wasn’t really connecting with what worked for me.  My focus was more on making my buddy happy and getting approval than it was on what was really going to work for me.  I needed lasting change and I was only focused on getting approval.

The deal was to celebrate with a piece of wedding cake and get right back to it.  By the end of the night, I’d had 2 pieces of wedding cake.  On the road trip home, I indulged in all kinds of truck stop delights like moon pies…candy bars…chips.  I used the excuse that I had cramps and “needed” sugar.  I was already well out of control by the time we got back home.  Over the next year, I gained the 50 pounds back.

6 months seems to be an issue for me, doesn’t it?  It certainly was for Dad…and I am my father’s daughter through and through.

Unlike any of my past attempts to eat healthy, the last 8 months have changed me.  I’ve learned lessons that I can’t unlearn – and don’t want to.  I’ve finally connected with the fact that quitting is the dumbest thing I could possibly do.  I may slow down, I may stumble, I may have set backs…but to completely give up and start mowing moon pies and twizzlers…no, that’s never going to happen again. I’m solid on that front.

I remember feeling utterly ashamed of myself after losing control the last time.  Someone I love dearly, thinking they were helping me, unleashed their feelings about my failure to get right back to my healthy living routine.  It hurt me in a way I’m sure they did not intend.  I no longer felt like I could continue updating the people I’m closest to about my situation (Hot Mess Hubby excluded, of course).  Even now, it hurts to think back on the words that were said to me – but I believe it also helped me.  It was the catalyst that made me realize following other people’s routines and programs wasn’t going to work for me.  I realized that I needed to find my own way and connect to each and every change in a very deep, personal way if I was going to really make this work.  If that meant taking longer than some people thought I should, well…that’s just tough shit for them isn’t it?.  At the end of the day, the only person who has to live with my decisions is me.  The only agenda I have to follow is my own.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now here I am.  I lost 45 pounds in the first 6 months of this process and I know it’s for real this time.   I am not tempted by moon pies and twizzlers, Little Debbie snack cakes, or pizza delivery every night of the week.  I have found a routine that works for me…but there’s only so far I can go on dietary changes alone.  It’s been time to add consistent exercise for a while now, yet I stand here…stuck in the road…knowing what I should do, yet unable or unwilling to do it.

While I still stand firm on not forcing myself into something that I’m not ready to do, I have to acknowledge some things.  When it comes to exercise, my head may be willing but my heart is not…and it may never be.  I think I’ve been patient long enough.  I feel like I’m reaching “critical dumb ass mode”.  At what point do I start kicking myself in the ass and forcing myself to move forward?  The line between positive, natural change and just sitting in the middle of the road while the world passes me by is a little fuzzy.

It’s time to force a little change.  I’m giving myself a little push.  The 7 Dwarfs of the Menstrual Apocalypse are gone.  Perfect timing.  Just a little push.  Or, if needed, a frigg’in shove with a sharp stick.  I’m officially more tired of not moving forward than I am afraid of forcing myself to do too much too soon.

I got up this morning ready to kick a little excess ass.  Since I have so much added weight on my body and I have been sedentary for so long, my goal this week is 15 – 20 minutes of cardio per day with a rest day on Sunday.  The goal is to start a habit, not to train for a marathon or hit the treadmill belt with an overdose of drama ala The Biggest Loser.  You won’t find me bench pressing my weight in Little Debbie Nutty Bars while the soundtrack from Rocky spurs me on to weight loss greatness.  I’m going to make these changes as normal and natural as I possibly can!

This morning I plan to ice up my water bottles and kick the Monday blues right in the ass.  I may not be so excited about exercising, but I’m excited about getting myself through this damn brick wall.

Come hell or high water, I’m coming on THROUGH.

 

Believe it.